Explanation of Type “A” and “B” Arbitration Senarios
With Arbitration days starting on Monday December 1st, MLB’s GM’s have other things beyond the Holiday Season to think about on this date. Not out of their minds is the fact that several MLB free agents will be looking for their own types of Christmas presents either from their current clubs, or a new suitor for 2009.
On Monday, teams will be making major decisions regarding their Type “A” and Type “B” arbitration eligible free agents and/ or roster babies. These decisions will not be made lightly, and sometimes a teams’ June Draft can be effected by the results, both positively or negatively with their decisions.
The Tampa Bay Rays are lucky enough to not have a single member of their 40- man roster sitting in either of these categories in 2009. With Rocco Baldelli and Trever Miller being offered contract buy-outs before this period, the team is not responsible or can reap any advantages to them signing for another team. Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske also are free and clear free agents able to talk and sign with any team in the MLB they desire, with no compensation for the Rays.
Most MLB players tend to wait until December 1st to get a realistic view of if their 2008 team does in fact, have them in the team’s future by offering arbitration, or letting them go as free agents. There are many players’ throughout the majors this off season who are waiting anxiously to get the positive or negative word on their current teams’ desire for them for the upcoming season.
Some players like Chicago Cub’s ex-closer, Kerry Wood could be offered arbitration, but the team will have to gamble that he will not accept it. Wood has already been replaced as the Cubs closer by former set-up guy, Carlos Marmol.
So the chess game will begin, and the Cubs would offer, but they will need a solid statement that Wood will want to go elsewhere in 2009. But some of these players come with baggage. Not injury or even a agent like Scott Boras, but a Type “A” or “B” designation that will give their old squad a type of draft rebate if they are signed by another club.
For some teams this rebate system has helped them in the past get an extra prospect or two who could help in the long run for their franchise. The Type “A” guys are pretty easy to find this off season, they are the guy that are being tossed around for examination by almost every competing club in baseball. They are the top tier free agents that have been drawing the most attention, and will command the most in return for their services.
I am going to take an example from the list of Type “B” arbitration eligible players to try and illustrate the process. The list of potential Type “B” guys include such field players as: Milton Bradley, Ivan Rodriguez, Gregg Zaun, Paul Lo Duca, Casey Blake, Ken Griffey Junior, Luis Gonzalez, Frank Thomas, Garrett Anderson, Mark Grudzielanek, Mark Loretta,Juan Uribe and Jeff Kent.
Not to outdone is the list of potential pitchers also eligible for arbitration: John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Jon Garlend, Randy Wolf, Paul Byrd, Alan Embree,Randy Johnson, Brian Shouse, Brendan Looper, Dave Weathers, Jason Isringhausen,Brandon Lyon, Arthur Rhodes, Joe Beimel, Denny Reyes, Rudy Seanez, Luis Ayala and Eric Gagne.
You might notice that I left 2 people off this list because it is generally thought that they will retire quietly before Spring Training in 2009. Former Mets outfielder Moises Alou and outstanding pitcher Greg Maddux are considered by many to take a bow out this off season and pursue other avenues in life.
Okay, for the sake of arguing, let me take one Type “A” Arbitration player to put him through a series of possible arbitration events to see what might happen starting tomorrow morning. I will select currently LA Angels first baseman Mark Teixiera as my example of an Type “A” candidates. He is one of the diamond being shined bright by his agents and fellow MLB teams as a cornerstone to a lineup and a star for years.
To start off, let’s consider that the Angels do want to retain his services in 2009, they would start by offering him arbitration after the December 1st date. If Teixiera accepts the arbitration offer, he will get his 2009 salary determined by the arbitration process. He earned a salary of $ 12.5 million dollars for 2008, and had a typical year at the plate and in the field. This would result in a higher salary for 2009. Now, he can still sign with the Angels before his hearing and would be the property of the Angels for 2009, thus ending his other suitors’ pursuit of him.
Typically, a team will sometime offer arbitration to a player thinking they might not even respond. This was not the case in 2002 when the Atlanta Braves tried to fake their interest in Gregg Maddux as a front for a trade. Maddux accepted their offer and went on to post a huge 2002 salary.
So with that in mind, if the Angels do not offer any arbitration to Teixiera, it he becomes a free agent with the Angels not getting any compensation for him. Players are considered for their status as “A” or “B” type arbitration candidates based on their statistics the prior 2 seasons.
Teixiera would fall into the “A” category based on his Plate Appearances, Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Home Runs, Runs Batted In for all players in his position classification. Since he played mostly first base this year, his arbitration ranking will come from the final statistics of every player in the MLB who played first base in 2009.
If the Angels offer arbitration, but Teixiera would rather play somewhere else and decides to sign with another franchise, the Angels would receive 2 picks in the 2009 Amateur Draft in June for Teixiera’s signing elsewhere. And so the chess match will begin on Monday as to the desires of the MLB’s clubs and their players for 2009.
Okay, let’s spell this completely out so there is no misunderstanding here. Let’s say his old team, the Atlanta Braves want to get Teixiera back into a Braves’ jersey for 2009. The Angels will then receive 1 draft pick from the Braves’ 2009 Amateur Draft selection. Let’s say they have the 22nd pick of the 2009 draft. The Angels would get that draft pick and also another additional pick as compensation for the Braves taking back Teixiera into their organization.
The Angels would also get another draft pick sandwiched between the first and second rounds if he was a Type “A” eligible candidate. The Angels can only get the First Round pick of the team signing Teixiera if it falls between pick number 16-30. If the Braves had one of the first 15 picks, they are protected and it can not be taken from them for arbitration supplemental picks.
If the Baltimore Orioles’ decide to take Teixiera, they would not have to give up their high First Round draft pick to compensate the Angels for the Teixiera signing. Instead, the Angels would be rewarded the Orioles’ second round pick and a “sandwich pick’ between the first 2 rounds of the draft.
Now onto the second case in point. Let’s say that the L A Dodgers offered current third baseman Casey Blake arbitration and he turned them down and signed somewhere else. The Dodgers would not get that team’s First Round pick as compensation, but the Dodgers would get a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds. Also to be taken into consideration is the fact that the “losing” team can receive draft pick compensation without arbitration if their free agent is signed before December 1st.
If a player is not offered or even offered arbitration, the cycle of draft picks ends and the team will not receive any other compensation if he leaves his 2008 club for another team in 2009. I know all of this sounds confusing and might be better suited for an advanced Algebra class, but in the next few days we will be hearing these senario and phrase more and more.
I thought this might be a nice way to show the possible results of players switching clubs after the December 1st arbitration starting period. Hope this helps dissect the madness and makes the whole process seems bit easier to digest and understand……………So where is Teixiera going, and what will it cost the team signing him?